Secret

SEcret

I sometimes wonder who he was, that man who called at our place a few years after dad had died and mum had moved into a nursing home.

Did mum have a secret life?

We all need someone or something to keep us afloat.

The Bum on the Sidewalk

She wasn’t really a bum.

She had a name.

Lauren.

She had a face too

but she asked me not to

photograph it.

But what really attracted her to me

was she was reading a book.

You don’t really associate street people

with reading.

And it was a big book.

Like a Russian novel.

Dostoevsky or Tolstoy maybe.

But it was a home grown novelist.

Bryce Courtenay

a true story about a girl called Jessica.

She was on page 237 and she was only halfway

into it.

We talked briefly.

I put some coins in her cap and left her to it

on the cold sidewalk.

I would like to have known her story

but you can’t be intrusive.

Found

.I drive down one of the backroads of desolation, full moon in my eyes, when I see him, shuffling along, hands in pockets.

Hop in, I say..

Are you still whoring with yr other voices? he asks.

Nah, I say. I was trying them on. They didn’t do it for me. You’re the one I want.

It sounds like a song.

Would you like me to sing it?

With your voice? No thanks.

I was sorta lost, I say. You’re my natural voice. Demotic, lyrical at times, a little looney.

You’re my man, my voice says, hopping in, giving me a manly hug.

We drive on, slow, easy, companionable, the full moon in our eyes.

  • pic courtesy of pinterest

On My Own Again

I’m on my own again.

My partner’s hit the sack.

The cat’s snuggled up in her basket.

Tiffany’s asleep in the tank, light out.

Even the mozzies have called it a day..

There’s nothing on TV.

Perhaps someone will text. Someone …

Is this what it’s going to be like?

Before You

Before you

I always laughed at cartoons

alone,

was astonished before paintings & poems

privately;

but now I pass the magazine to you,

the one with the crazy cartoons.

Look at this, I say, & you do and smiles

span our faces & rumble our bellies

like little laughing Buddhas;

Trouble shared is trouble halved,

my mother used to say — but Joy

works inversely:

It is doubled when shared with another.

*pic courtesy of Pinterest by John Currin

Out of Time

Sometimes I wake up in a room

& don’t know where I am.

My partner’s?

My daughter’s?

Home?

Sometimes I walk into a room that isn’t

even there.

carrying two cups of coffee,

one for me, one for her

and a Sunday Mail under my arm

but that was yesterday.

I’m in the 4th dimension now.

Somewhere in the distance a crow caws, a cat hisses, an old CD

is playing, ‘You’re out of time, my baby’.

I scratch my head, my balls.

How do I get back Where’s the exit door?

The entrance?

Help.

They Didn’t Tell You

They didn’t tell you when you trustingly submitted to a covid test that you’d have to quarantine for fourteen days even if you tested negative.

They didn’t tell you the queues would be so long, could take up to ten hours to be tested, and that there were no toilet facilities available, no hot dog stands

And they certainly didn’t tell you a fortnight in quarantine by yourself would be as gruelling, as solipsistic as a fortnight in solitary in a maximum security prison — and that you never even get to see your jailer

There is no training for this.

And anyway you’ve only got eight more days of madness to look forward to, so it isn’t all bad

Until you realize at the very end, your state’s in hard lockdown for at least a week so you have to go through it all over again

What it’s Like

You wanna know what it’s like? He says.

I’ll tell you what it’s like.

It’s like walking around with a ‘Vacant’ sign around your neck.

Like being scooped out by an excavator.

Or being a songbird without a voice.

It’s like walking along a jetty studded with couples clinging to each other like barnacles on pylons.

It’s like being on the esplanade ripping into a pulled pork burger like an animal ‘coz you’re on yr own so it isn’t all bad.

That’s what it’s like.


			

Bad Company

How’s your girlfriend going? she asks tonelessly..

Pam? Yeh, she’s okay, I say.

You seem to need somebody, she says. A wife, partner, a female friend.

And you don’t?

No. I must be stronger, she conjectures in her haughty voice. I can live with myself. I don’t need anyone.

Loneliness is a morose companion, I add.

She says nothing.

pic by Joey Monsoon courtesy of Pinterest